First, Aretha Franklin laid claim to "My Country, 'Tis Of Thee" at the inauguration. Now, Bruce Springsteen is taking on the Super Bowl, as this year's halftime performer.
Word is that Springsteen had been asked many times before, and always turned it down. Maybe he feels more comfortable at this ultra-American pageant now that there is a president to have hope for. (Cynics might wonder if it's because he has a new album to promote, but he's had those before.)
So, along with pondering the outcome of the game, there is the question of what Springsteen will play; the band's set list is a secret as closely-guarded as the teams' playbooks.
First, the game. Arizona has the capacity to surprise, and against most other teams we would take them here getting 6 1/2, but we think Pittsburgh is old-school enough to play not just to win, but to beat the spread for its fans, which a team is not supposed to do, and we think most wouldn't, but the Steelers would. So, the Steelers giving the points. Simple as that.
As for Springsteen, we think he will definitely avoid "Born In The USA," an anti-war song long misinterpreted as a jingoistic anthem. We'll guess that as his old-time number he will do "Glory Days," a bouncy enough song that also happens to be about a washed-up would-be athlete.
There's time for 4 songs, so we reckon 2 will be from the new album. "My Lucky Day" and "The Wrestler" would both be appropriate for the day. Then, as a message song, he might reprise "The Rising," which he performed at the Lincoln Memorial before Inauguration Day; or he might be magnanimous and cover a song by Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger, as he has put to record.
We wish you luck with your bets, or congratulate you on your sensible indifference to such folderol. Have fun, whatever your proclivity.
for Ithaca Blog